Friday, 18 October, 2019


Speaker of New Zealand's parliament cradles colleague's baby during debate

Speaker of New Zealand's parliament cradles colleague's baby during debate Speaker of New Zealand's parliament cradles colleague's baby during debate
Bennie Garza | 22 August, 2019, 15:30

A photo of Speaker Trevor Mallard feeding the Waiariki MP's son has gone viral worldwide.

Coffey also posted a picture of himself holding up the baby boy - first tweeted by Green MP Golriz Ghahraman - under the words: "I just love him".

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern made history previous year by becoming the first female world leader to bring her baby to the United Nations general assembly.

No one seemed to mind. "Congratulations Tamati Coffey and Tim on the newest member of your family", Mallard tweeted.

After New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brought her baby daughter - Neve - to her debut speech at the United Nations in NY, politicians are increasingly following her lead and proving that parenting and politics can go hand-in-hand. It's high time that our own Parliament members learn from speakers like Mallard and make such platforms more parent-friendly.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi later accused the MP of sneaking a baby into the debating chamber to create an unnecessary scene.

Six-week-old Tutanekai, who was born via a surrogate mother and is the biological son of Smith, was being held by Coffey in the debating chamber when the speaker offered to hold him.

Their presence provides a boost to morale, evidenced from the eagerness of official messengers to swap their usual document deliveries for the task of taking an infant into parliament instead, he said.

Also a week ago, a video of Zuleikha Hassan, a Kenyan lawmaker, circulated after she was kicked out of parliament for bringing her baby to work.

She expressed support for the parliament speaker's family policies.

"What I've found is that it adds to the positive atmosphere of the workplace", he said, adding that he regularly encountered babies in the halls of power and even the indoor parliamentary swimming pool.

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